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Harbour ward - There is an alternative

We live in interesting times. Trust in the big three political parties is at an all-time low, but there is an alternative: the Green Party. Coalition cuts are going to affect Harbour ward residents, and we believe that many of the proposed cutbacks are misguided and short-sighted.

In particular the proposals for the library service are of grave concern. Lowestoft's central library is in Harbour ward, and is safe, but (for the time being), the proposals to shut branch libraries in neighbouring wards will have an effect on how people use the service and how they get to the library. Branch libraries help keep communities alive, and if cuts are necessary, they should be sought elsewhere. Viewing libraries in simple bottom-line economic terms is reductive nonsense. The payback in terms of education and community-building is intangible, but its absence will be all too noticeable.

Harbour ward is home to Gulliver, the wind turbine at Ness Point, which has become a landmark since its completion in 2005. It represents sustainable renewable energy, and so do we. In recent years some lobbies have engineered a misguided and favourable reappraisal of nuclear power in the corridors of power. Events in Japan underline the folly of this regression. Don't believe the hype. Even if nuclear power production is clean and efficient (which it isn't), the by-products are not something we should be producing and leaving for future generations.

Harbour ward is also the location of Lowestoft's railway station, the second most used station in Suffolk, which brings visitors right into the heart of town. However, proposals to move the station further up the line have been rumbling around for years. One suggestion was for a new station 450 metres away from the current site, near the North Quay retail estate. A survey showed that up to 20% of those who travelled by rail would travel by train less. Revised plans were put forward to move the station 80 metres west, allowing for the existing station site to be used for a hotel and retail development. Moving the station even 80 metres away from its current location would affect Lowestoft adversely. Visitors are brought into the heart of town, and the central location opens up the rest of East Anglia and the rail network to us. We will oppose any move vigorously.

So much for the policies, what of the personalities? In the Harbour ward of the Waveney District Council area, we're fielding three candidates:

louis Barfe - Harbour ward candidate

Louis Barfe is the notorious NOTA candidate who saw the Green light after last year's General Election and became an enthusiastic member of the Waveney Green Party. When not worrying about the state of the world, he writes books about the entertainment industry and has been a Private Eye journalist.

Chris Goodings - Harbour ward candidate

Chris Goodings is the managing director of Solar Energy Alliance, which designs and installs renewable energy solutions nationwide. The company was established by him in 1985 and is based in the ward at Battery Green Road. He is an expert on renewable theory and practice.

Doug Hoffman - Harbour ward candidate

Doug Hoffman is the walking embodiment of the phrase 'knowledge is power'. As Waveney District Council's former Energy Efficiency Officer, he knows exactly how everything works, how much it costs, how it can be optimised, how much energy is being wasted and when the people who should be making an effort really aren't trying. Nobody can fob him off. Despite this fearsome reputation, he's usually to be seen smiling or laughing.

If you're part of the growing proportion of the electorate forced to describe itself as decent but disillusioned or fair but foxed, take a look at what the Green Party has to offer in Harbour ward on 5 May.

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